xBhp|June - July 2020
xBhp: The first question that we’d like to ask you is how did you start riding motorcycles? And when did this spark for racing, which eventually led you to rallying, came about?
Aravind KP: My riding journey started with my dad’s scooter. I’d sneak it out by pushing it to a distance and start riding. I started racing in the first year of my degree course, in 2005.
When I was in 10th standard, I was inspired by C Vijay Kumar and others who had come to Manipal and there was a supercross that happened in a stadium here. That’s when I got inspired. I really wanted to do something like that and that is how the spark you mention came about.
But it was not until 2005 that I did something about it. 2004 is when I got my first bike, my parents had put me under the challenge that if I scored more than 80%, they’d buy me a bike. I scored 84.7% and that’s how I got my first bike. 2005 was when I started racing. I started with dirt track racing and then slowly graduated my way upto supercross, rallies and then all the way to the Dakar.
xBhp: You are in your mid-thirties and as they say, there’s a certain before which you can be at your A-game? What are your thoughts about that? How difficult does it get and how do you plan to fight your biological age?
Aravind KP: It all depends on how badly you want it, how much you’re willing to persist and continue doing it, how disciplined you are in your life and how strong your belief in your goal is. To give you a live example, my teammate, Michael Metge, is 40 years old and he won a stage in Dakar last year. So age is just a number and it all just depends on your belief, your thought process, your will to do something and your persistence in getting it done.
xBhp: What was your proudest moment in your motorsport journey so far?
Aravind KP: It is definitely going to be the one when I finished the Dakar Rally in 2019. This is one moment which I would not trade for anything else ever in my life. I had been dreaming to get to the finish line and hold the Indian flag up high for almost 3 years. In the first year, I failed miserably and in the second one, I was doing great until I broke my leg. But the third time’s a charm.
It was my third outing in the Dakar, in Peru. I finished the last stage and what you do after that is you regroup, somewhat of stop and celebrate, before you ride with the convoy to the finish. And holding the tricolour in that moment, I was so proud. I feel so lucky doing what I am doing and representing my country and my team because I know a lot of people who didn’t want to do this because it’s a lot harder than people believe. So I feel really fortunate.
xBhp: Is it possible for a regular motorcyclist with a decent amount of experience to do the same route as Dakar on his/her motorcycle at a normal pace?
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June - July 2020